Breakfast cereals are an easy go-to for breakfast and were always my first choice as a kid.
Cheerios. Kix. Rice Krispies. And for a treat – Apple Jacks or Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Granola is a popular choice for cereals for a lot of people because we’ve been led to believe granola = healthy. Most of the time, however, processed cereals are loaded with sugar, processed oils, and harmful preservatives.
Not only that, but they tend to be pretty pricey.
I was inspired by the culinary nutrition program I’m in right now and am always looking for ways to help you make UPGRADES to your diet, so I decided to make my own granola!
It was actually really easy…and cheaper than buying the boxes in the grocery store. If you have kids, I bet they would have fun helping you with this one!
Here are some of the super charged healthy benefits of this granola:
- Buckwheat (also known as kasha) doesn’t actually contain wheat! (Confusing, right??). It’s technically a seed that is filled with fiber and other nutrients that keep our hearts healthy and our stomachs feeling full.
- Pumpkin seeds and pecans are two of Dr. Fuhrman’s GBOMBS foods (the top anti-cancer, anti-fat storage foods we can eat). Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants that help us slow the aging process and minerals that nourish protect our body. Pecans contain nutrients that help our heart, immune system, and even wound healing.
- Cinnamon is a super spice, as it naturally helps slow the release of our body sugar, so it’s especially helpful to pair with carbohydrates (like oats in this recipe). Regulating the release of our blood sugar is key to feeling energized and being at a healthy weight.
I like this recipe for pumpkin spice granola because it’s versatile. Swap out any nuts/seeds or spices that you like! You can even use other sweeteners like honey instead of maple syrup if you prefer.
- 2.5 cups rolled oats, gluten-free
- 1/3 cup buckwheat (AKA kasha) (You can find this in the bulk section of a health food store or here)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (Trader Joe’s sells it, or you can make your own by using this recipe!)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, pecans, shredded coconut, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and sea salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture and mix thoroughly (I used my hands!).
- Spread mixture out on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove, mix granola around on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 20-25 more minutes, until slightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in mason jars in your pantry or refrigerator.
Enjoy it as a snack by itself or serve it as a cereal with your favorite non-dairy milk. I love using a blend of coconut milk and almond milk and letting the granola soak it up. It still stays crunchy! You can also toss in a few dried cranberries, raisins or fresh fruit if you’d like 🙂